Dawgs take two titles in Kansas

By Terrance Peacock

The Saluki track and field teams took home two titles and three runner-ups from the Kansas Relays to add to the Salukis’ impressive outdoor season.

The Kansas Relays, one of the outdoor season’s premier meets, featured several ranked teams, including Nebraska — which holds the country’s No. 20 men’s team and the No. 22 women’s team — and Kansas, who boasts the country’s No. 1 women’s track and field team.

SIU held its own during the Thursday-Sunday meet and won two events the third day, including senior distance runner Lucas Cherry’s fourth career in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Cherry ran three seconds better than second place, with a time of 9 minutes and 16.31 seconds.


“(The race) felt good,” Cherry said in a Saluki Athletics release. “I went out about right, but I just knew I had to run my race. Those first two guys went out pretty hard, but I had done my research. I knew they probably weren’t going to be able to keep that pace, so I just let them go and just reeled them back in as I went.”

Sophomore distance runner Juan Carrera took fifth in the steeplechase at a 9:33.31 personal-best time.

Sophomore distance runner Sadie Darnell capped off an impressive steeplechase event with a second-place finish at a personal-best record of 10:50.41.

Senior sprinter Tess Shubert finished third in Saturday’s 400-meter hurdles, coming in with a time of 1:00.43

The women’s 4×100 relay team, made up of sophomores Lauren Cheadle, Desiree White, Amiris Warren and Shubert, also ran well and placed sixth in the event at 46.69 seconds, only two-tenths of a second away from their season-best set during the April 13 Ole Miss Invite.

In Friday’s women’s field competition, the Salukis saw junior jumper Kenya Culmer come away with the high-jump title during the women’s Friday field competition. Culmer took the title after her 1.73-meter leap to beat Monmouth senior jumper Rachel Watkins by less than .01 meters.

Culmer said the win was a confidence boost as she heads into the final stretch of the outdoor season.


“By winning, it afforded me some confidence,” she said. “But I feel that I could have done much better.”

In the shot-put competition, senior thrower Kim Fortney placed third with a distance of 15.95 meters. Fortney was just .94 meters behind winner and former SIU teammate Jeneva McCall, who posted a final throw of 16.89 meters.

McCall, who graduated from SIU in 2011, won both the shot put and the discus this weekend while competing for the New York Athletic Club. McCall won the discus throw with a final heave of 54.05 meters, which was .9 meters farther than University of Kansas junior Jessica Maroszek.

On the men’s side of the field competition, SIU sophomore thrower Bradley Sauer threw 59.20 meters in the men’s hammer throw final to place second. Sauer was just three inches short of taking his first hammer title of his career. Behind Sauer in the hammer throw was sophomore Curtis Wideman, who placed third with a 57.31 meter toss and junior Brian Cooper who threw the hammer 55.95 meters and placed fifth overall.

In the triple jump competition, SIU junior jumper Dougie Palacious placed second in the finals after he posted a 14.88-meter jump to fall just .18 meters behind winner Wayne Northover, a sophomore jumper from Cloud County Community College.

The Salukis travel Friday to compete in the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.